Please help I need a therapy dog!
As many of you may know I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1997 when I was 6 years old. I have been living with the condition for almost 21 years now. Unfortunately over the years, diabetes has put a great strain on my body, leaving damage to my stomach, my feet and nerves, I am blind in my right eye and in 2014 I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Over the last 4 years my kidney function has been rapidly decreasing. The kidney’s role in the body is to help filter fluids and get rid of toxins within the blood stream. On May 2nd 2018 my body went into Kidney failure. I gained 10 kilos of fluid almost overnight because my body could no longer filter out toxins and process fluids. The decision was made by doctors to perform an emergency operation to place a catheter in my chest so I could begin haemodialysis.
In haemodialysis, a dialysis machine and a special filter called an artificial kidney, or a dialyzer, are used to clean your blood. To get your blood into the dialyzer, the doctor needs to make an access, or entrance, into your blood vessels. This is done with minor surgery, usually to your arm or chest.
I complete dialysis 3 times a week for 4 hours to clean my blood from toxins and to keep me alive. The dialysis machine is my life support system without it I would not be here. Unfortunately my body isn’t responding very well to the dialysis treatments. I often suffer severe nausea and vomiting or spikes in blood pressure when I am hooked up to the machine. My nausea if often so bad that the nurses have to administer me with anti-medic drugs (often given to cancer patients) to stop my nausea and vomiting. I am often left tired, washed out or emotional after dialysis sessions due to the strain that is put on my body each session. Due to a lot of my time being spent in the hospital or being very ill I had to cut down from working full time, to part time and now I can only work casually a couple of hours a week.
Unfortunately over the years all my health issues and conditions have really affected my mental health. Some days I suffer with crippling anxiety and silent panic attacks. I have my good days but some days I live in constant fear of what my future will bring. I am also on prescribed medication to help relieve some of my stress and anxiety.
Every day I am left dealing with one or more of anxiety symptoms which often leave my feeling upset, worried, isolated or distressed. I see a psychologist and have been recommended by a few medical professionals to get a service/therapy dog. Emotional support dogs have a natural gift of comfort, companionship and unconditional affection that is therapeutic to psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety. Mental health service dogs or what are better known as psychiatric dogs are canines that are specially trained to help their handler maintain a healthy mental state. They provide one on one support to people suffering from anxiety attacks, depression, PTSD, and other challenges. I have been recommended by many to get a Cavalier as a therapy dog.
At the beginning of August I was told that I could be placed on the kidney and pancreas transplant list after many months of tests to see if I was a suitable candidate for transplant. This is in no way a cure for Kidney disease but it is a second chance at life that I am being given.
- John & Julie Sanderson
- Kieran Schwendrat
- Colin Jones
- Sally Svent
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